Amazon’s Mechanical Turk

Amazon have a variety of web services in addition to their online retail operations. One of them that I have recently been playing around with is the Mechanical Turk. People or businesses can put up simple tasks for others to do for a small fee. My perspective is from the Worker perspective.

Each task is called a HIT (Human Intelligent Task), I’ve done around 100 of them and earned $7. The tasks range from transcribing audio/video, categorising pictures & websites, completing surveys, testing web services etc. The time/reward ratio is pretty low but there are sometimes HIT’s that have reasonable payments. Your payment is dependent on the HIT requester approving or rejecting you completed HIT which sometimes can be frustrating if you don’t read the requirements properly or they base their decision on majority results. You are usually paid within a couple of days but sometimes it may take weeks depending on the requester (I have a couple that I haven’t received payment for over 3 weeks now).

Overall Amazon’s Mechanical Turk is an interesting service that is great if you have a repetitive task that needs to be done but as a Worker it’s not worth the time.

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Posted on April 27, 2010, in Applications, Business, Web and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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